Heads of State and Government convened in Santo Domingo for the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit which is focused on post Covid-19 pandemic economic recovery in a world hit by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Despite Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Brazil), Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico), and Nayib Bukele (El Salvador) not attending the event, the group is expected to launch a joint declaration Saturday regarding the region's future in the current global context, as Latin America bets on better financing to face a food crisis that affects at least a quarter of its population.
The meeting will also serve as preparation for the July summit between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) and the European Union, to be held on 17 and 18 July in Belgium.
Many issues on the agenda of this Ibero-American summit are going to be the main topics of the July summit, international affairs analyst Mariano de Alba told AFP.
Strengthening ties and coordination between Europe and the region to address three issues: food security, environmental challenges, and how to cooperate to increase access to technology, the expert added.
A prominent theme will be access to financing for poor countries. It is a central point, said Rubén Silié, Dominican Vice Minister of Multilateral Foreign Policy. The current financing does not take into consideration the crisis situation our countries are going through, it does not respond adequately to the debt situation of the countries and obviously with the overload that has fallen with the health crisis and later with the crisis in Europe, totally new financing conditions will be needed, he also pointed out.
The InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) forecasts 1% growth for Latin America and the Caribbean, lower than the 1.8% projected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the 1.3% forecast by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The region also has the highest cost of a healthy diet in the world (US$3.89 per person per day), which is not affordable to 22.5% of its population, according to the UN.
An Ibero-American business meeting was held on Friday. Celso Juan Marranzini, president of the Dominican business chamber, called for a strong signal of joint work of the private sector and the State for the development of our countries.
In times of uncertainty we have an active role to play, he added. ”Let us think of the Ibero-America to which we aspire, above pandemic, war, and crisis.
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